Indie games have sparked a light in the recent years of gaming, and as publisher-tied developers are roped into churning out Hollywood-style video games year after year, there’s no doubt that the indie developer community still has a long time to flourish. However, if you want to truly stick to the indie roots and be a developer that is both renowned and respected, there are some things that you should definitely avoid, especially when considering indie game PR and customer communication.
1. Too many Promises
It’s easy to get overly ambitious and think up some really big game ideas and want to implement them into your game. The trouble is, it’s highly unlikely you have the manpower or the time in your development team to make those ideas into reality. Stick to what you know you can do for the time being, and 100% avoid telling your fans that you are going to add all the wonderful ideas into your game.
2. Make a Game, and then give up
As an indie developer, the first thing you have to realize is that you are creating a service for your fans, and not a product. It’d be easy enough to throw out a game and then put it up for sale and then move on, but as an indie dev you can achieve so much more if you keep developing the game after release. This will allow you to fix bugs found by your players, and work towards adding that content you’ve always wanted to add.
3. Keeping your Followers in the Dark
If you manage to spark some interest in your game as you are developing it, you may be surprised to know that those that are interested will enjoy hearing about the development process. Whilst you may want to keep some things a secret, sharing what you are doing as a dev regularly will help to maintain a sense of trust and relationship in your followers or fan base.
4. Setting Dates and Deadlines
If you’ve developed a game before, you may have a better idea of when you should be ready to ship, so revealing a release date may be a smart thing to do. However, whether you’ve released a game or not, it’s extremely important that before you do this, you set out a game development roadmap with certain dates and see if you can stick to those deadlines. If you can stick to your roadmap, then set a release date, if not, adjust your roadmap to give yourself more time, and release the game at a later date.
If you do set back your game, you will still need to watch out for another pitfall that certainly needs avoiding. Make sure that you don’t keep delaying your game. This will let down fans, ruin your experience, and give you less time to work on other projects. Instead, release the game when others believe it’s ready, let go of your ambitions a little, and then carrying on tweaking it after release.
6. No Preparation for Press
One big way to get notice as an indie game developer is by getting your game looked at or written about on an indie game website. Whilst you could go and directly contact press and ask if they could write about your game, you’re not going to make it easy for them unless you create a decent press kit.
Press kits include usable screenshots, data, and other important information that the press may need to know about your game. There are plenty of tutorials online on how to make a good press kit, so it shouldn’t be something that requires much thought.
As an indie game developer you need to make things flexible for yourself, but also rigid enough so that those interested in the game can keep their interest. Making sure you avoid these PR fails will not only help your game, but also help your name as a developer grow within the gaming communities. For more tips regarding mobile app marketing, read our guide.